Today’s article will feature the Parable of the Sower, but before we get there a little backtracking is necessary.
— When Jesus answered the devil’s temptation, he said, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.'” (Luke 4.4).
This was a quote from Deuteronomy 8.3, which says, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
God’s creative word is the source of life. If we want to live a full and abundant life, we can’t do it without his word.
— Jesus inaugurated his ministry in Nazareth by reading from Isaiah 61. When he finished reading, he said:
“Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4.21).
Instead of hearing Jesus’ words, the crowd mobbed him and attempted to put him to death (Luke 4.28-29).
— Peter was a professional fisherman, but was willing to listen to Jesus.
He responded to Jesus’ command and said, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets” (Luke 5.4).
The result of listening to Jesus was a remarkable catch of fish and a change of occupations for Peter and his associates.
— Luke 6 is a record of what Jesus taught his followers. He ends the teaching with a word-picture designed to remind his followers of the importance of listening and obeying.
He taught them that the person who “comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them” is like someone who built their house on the rock (Luke 6.46-48).
— There is no accident that Jesus ended the Parable of the Sower with the words, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” (Luke 8.8).
The Devil and God’s Word
The first Psalm describes the value knowing and following God’s instructions.
But their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law they meditate day and night . . .
In all that they do, they prosper. (Psalm 1.2-3)
The devil knows the power of God’s word and works to keep us from reading the Bible, listening to sermons, and obeying what we hear.
Jesus said, “The seed is the word of God.
“The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved” (Luke 8.11-12).
If we choose to not read the Bible and follow its direction, we are playing into the hand of the devil. His goal is to steal from us the very life God desires us to experience.
The next category of people in the Parable of the Sower hear the word, but it fails to go deep. They hear, believe, but they end up being temporary followers.
Jesus said, “The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe only for a while and in a time of testing fall away” (Luke 8.13).
I write a daily blog article and Rudy Ross and I produce a daily YouTube video. We are honored that people listen to us and read the blog.
Our hope is that you will go beyond what we do. Please follow the admonition of the first Psalm and mediate on God’s word with great frequency.
If you have a personal acquaintance with God’s word, you will be better prepared when times of testing come.
Prosperity is not always a blessing. Pain and deprivation often drive people into the arms of Jesus.
Jesus knew that we don’t own our possessions, but they often own us.
He had this to say about what prosperity can do to our ability to hear God’s word.
“As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature” (Luke 8.14).
Spend a few minutes and ask yourself if you spend more time on entertainment than you do in prayer and Bible study.
Work is important, but does it take so much out of you that you have little time for the most important meeting of your life – one with Jesus?
Once again, Jesus emphasized the importance of hearing his words and doing what he taught.
He said, “But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance” (Luke 8.15).
Like the person who built their house on the rock, the one who produces fruit of living like Jesus, hears what Jesus teaches and holds it tight in their heart.
Jesus told parables to persuade people to listen to his message and follow his guidance. Let’s be sure to listen and trust his guidance.
Rudy Ross and I discuss this parable on a YouTube video. You can listen to it on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
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